We can all remember the times when an administrator or academic counselor has come into our GLC or English class to show a presentation. Those presentations may be really easy to tune out but we fail to realize that they’re telling us really valuable information about the school. What many people may have missed is that Gunderson has multiple options for mental health wellness.
“There’s four counselors all together representing three different agencies,” Gunderson Assistant Principal of Guidance, Sean Gardere said. “They are all located in our media center, our library, as well as we have connections with Uplift Family Services.”
Many students deal with mental health issues, and these can all stem from a variety of sources.
“I think there are a lot of family issues. People are struggling with relationships with parents,” Gunderson counselor Hela Teller said. “This is what I hear most. There was one student that wanted to come [attend counseling] but their parents wouldn’t sign a consent form.”
Counseling is something most people need, especially as teens who are beginning to be introduced to the harsh realities of the real world. The referral process is fairly simple and quick, and there are multiple ways to go about it.
“So this process can be within minutes to a day or two,” Gardere said. “A student can be referred several ways, one would be directly from their teacher. There is a one-pager with all of our services and the referral form that I personally share with the staff at the beginning of the school year. So [all of our staff has] access to that. Parents as well can refer, they will go through our website, and there’s a referral form there. Students can also self-refer.”
Once the referral is submitted, you can start seeing a counselor almost immediately. There are multiple counselors on campus, one is here each day. Not many people currently see our counselors, so their schedules are relatively open.
“Right now, I have about four or five students,” Teller said. “I have room for more!”
If you’re unsure about signing up for counseling at school, you can see if you feel comfortable during one session before filling out a referral.
“So a student can go in and see a counselor at any time they do not need an appointment. They would be able to see the counselor once with no appointment, but after that, they would need to get clearance from their parents to continue to receive services. But the first time, they can just walk in.”
Another concern that holds people back from getting help with their mental health is the price of therapy. Luckily, that isn’t a problem with our school-provided counseling.
“So all of our counseling services are absolutely free. There are services that we may provide, where some agencies can be compensated by Medi-Call, but all of our services are 100% free to our students.”
If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health, counseling is a safe, free, and confidential way to talk to someone.
“Come for counseling!” Teller said, “My door is open.”